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Harry Edward Jones

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Harry Edward Jones (1843-1925)

Engineer, of Commercial Gas Works, Stepney, London, E.

1901 Manager of Commercial Gas Co

1925 Obituary [1]

HARRY EDWARD JONES, the son of Mr. Robert Jones, of Chester, an eminent gas engineer of his time, was born in that city in April 1843.

He was educated at the City of London School and the Stepney Grammar School, leaving in December 1858, after passing the Cambridge Higher Local Examination with honours.

In 1859 he was articled to Mr. Joseph H. Beattie, the locomotive engineer of the London and South Western Railway, and on the completion of his articles in 1862 commenced his professional career at the Harlow Gas Works, Essex, and thereafter made the Gas Industry his special study.

At the age of twenty years Mr. Jones was appointed engineer to the Wandsworth Gas Company in 1863, and he held this position until October 1869, when he became chief engineer to the Ratcliff Gas Light Company, having in the previous six years paid professional visits in an advisory capacity to gas works in Lisbon and Oporto, Athens and Spain.

In December 1875, the Ratcliff Gas Company was amalgamated with the Commercial Gas Co., and the subject of this memoir was made joint engineer of the combination with his father, Mr. Robert Jones, who had been Engineer of the Commercial Co.'s works since 1853. The latter retired in 1880 and he then became Chief Engineer.

Twelve years later, in 1902, Mr. Jones retired from this executive position and was elected to the Board of Directors. During his connexion with the Commercial Gas Co., he had built up a large consulting practice, and was consulting engineer to gas undertakings in this country and abroad.

Mr. Jones, in great demand in Parliamentary matters, rating cases, arbitrations, and other professional work, his intimate knowledge of the design and construction of gas works, and of all the practical details of gas works procedure, rendered his service as expert witness of exceptional value.

In September 1888 he visited Boston, U.S.A., on professional matters, and he was in personal touch also with gas affairs on the Continent, in India, and in South America.

Between 1905 and 1910 he gradually relinquished his consulting practice, and gave more attention to administration from the board room.

At the time of his death he was Chairman of the Wandsworth Wimbledon and Epsom District Gas Company; the European Gas Company (owning eight works in the North of France); the Bombay Gas Company; the Uxbridge, Wycombe and Maidenhead Gas Company; the Primitiva Gas Company of Buenos Ayres, and the London Gas Company, and was Deputy Chairman of the Commercial Gas Company.

He was for many years Chairman of the Gas Companies' Protection Association, and one of the prime movers in the formation of the National Gas Council, of which he was first president. Of the Institution of Civil Engineers he was for many years a prominent member, reaching the presidential chair in 1917.

He contributed several important Papers on Gas matters to the Proceedings of that Institution, and amongst the notable awards made to him were the Telford Premium, the Watt Medal, and the George Stephenson Medal. He was also an old member of the Institution of Gas Engineers. He took great interest in country pursuits, riding and hunting being amongst his favourite relaxations.

Mr. Jones died suddenly in his eighty-second year, on 24th March 1925.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1878, and as will be remembered, he delivered, in 1916, the "Thomas Hawksley" Lecture, the subject chosen being "The Gas Engineer of the Last Century" (see Proceedings, 1916, page 631).

1925 Obituary [2]

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